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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

Mulching blades?

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11-06-2018 14:35:21

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Anyone have experience with mulching blades on a JD 54 inch deck?
I am having difficulty with blowing dry last mowing grass around me and getting it sucked into the Kawasaki Twin engine.
I have successfully tried pulling a 60 inch Swisher to mower behind, cutting to a longer-than-I-like with the X534, then the tow mower set to the finish height, resulting in a shorter chop and that seems to disappear into the grass, not making a problem for the next mowing.

Yeah, I have a lawn sweeper, but it takes a lot of extra time on this 5 acre yard, mostly running loaded from all over back to the dump area.

I did not buy a grass catcher for that same reason.

However, if mulching blades chop finer in one pass, I could stand a little slower pass, if necessary.


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11-07-2018 20:19:19

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 Re: Mulching blades? in reply to IaLeo, 11-06-2018 14:35:21  
I am not aware of front blow-out. I leave the discharge flapper off because of the circling around and through about 100 trees and bushes. The JD folks claim that might be the cause of the right bank plugging and melting the last engine. It might make lofting of dry grass (last mowing) a bit more prevalent but I think after mowing this way for many years with the 200 series (Kohler engines) I never had engine overheating due to sucking in grass debris.

I cannot cut this grass in a timely manner, partly due to at 30+ inches rainfall, dewy grass not clearing until about noon and my ridiculous schedule (full retirement, but constant doctoring for my wife and I and grandchild care, all 35 miles away.

So the grass is usually 5-6 inches tall, the JD deck handles it easily, even much taller grass is no problem. And the place looks like a durn hayfield a lot of the time. But the next mowing is always on windy days and therefore some of the time I have dry grass flying in my eyes. The Kawasaki engine pulls air in through the top which is under a sculpted plastic hood (ugly IMO) that has side and front vents.

The JD manual is very specific about plugging or screening the hood vents especially when snow blowing, otherwise I would put some window screen on the right side. As the engine pulls its air in centered on itself and distributes the air to both cylinder banks, I don't see how the right bank should be more susceptible due to the right hand discharge of the mower, but that is what the dealer folks say they have seen.
I think Kawasaki and Deere have screwed up the engineering by not having larger exit vents on the shroud to avoid trapping debris and that the hood vent system should favor the left side away from the standard RH mower deck discharge. The H with the ugly modern design not being symmetrical.

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Ed will

11-07-2018 09:59:45

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 Re: Mulching blades? in reply to IaLeo, 11-06-2018 14:35:21  
Hi, as you know, I have an orchard. 5 acres of it is lawn. I have 2 54" deck riding mowers. I never pickup the grass as I believe it's good to go back into the soil. I have both mulching and standard blades. Both work well with little obvious grass left showing like hay. But I d have irrigation that more or less takes care of that. I also mulch the orchard leaves by closing off the discharge with a plywood and tin thing I made for that purpose. I don't let the leaves get too thick or they will pile up in front of the deck. Works well. Can't see leaves when done. Ed Will Oliver BC

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d beatty

11-07-2018 15:19:48

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 Re: Mulching blades? in reply to Ed will, 11-07-2018 09:59:45  
I do the same as you and cut leaves and grass fine enough and leave it on yard. I do lime the yard about every other year because leaves will sour ground.

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11-07-2018 01:55:36

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 Re: Mulching blades? in reply to IaLeo, 11-06-2018 14:35:21  
Are you saying you have excessive front blowout?

Is your deck level & 1/4" lower in the front, measured at the blade-tips, not the deck edge?

Is the deck clean underneath?

Which blades are you using?
If you have front blowout problems you're moving too much air for the deck capabilities. If you're using the M152726 (hi-lifts), try the M143520 blades.

The Oregon G5 blades for you would be the 596-719s.
I don't call them a mulch blade 'cause they're not wavy.
They're actually intended to chop the clippings smaller with side-discharge.
They're considered hi-lift, so with your deck they may move too much air & cause front blowout.

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11-06-2018 14:53:42

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 Re: Mulching blades? in reply to IaLeo, 11-06-2018 14:35:21  
Your best bet would be an Agri-Fab or a Trackvac unit. I have one of each and when you hook it to your garden tractor they suck EVERYTHING from your lawn. The lawn is so clean it looks like summer mowing. They show up for sale here and there when people down size. Check crages lost too. My agfab has the optional hand hose. Like 16 feet long and you can go under bushes and into flower beds etc. Not the cheepest toy but they Sure Do Work !

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